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Heaven or Hell?

by Stephen Lautens


August 17, 2001

A poll of 1.2 million people from around the world asked the simple question: "where will you go when you die?"

I found the reported results surprising. Almost a quarter of the people (probably the politicians) didn't want to commit to an answer, and said they weren't sure. Twenty-four percent said there's "another realm" waiting for them on the other side of the bright light. Another quarter said their celestial ticket had been punched and they were definitely heaven bound.

A mere 16 percent figured the only thing that waits for them at the end of this life is a big dirt nap.

What really stands out is the thin little 1% who said that when they died they were definitely going to hell. No ifs, ands, or buts. They fully expect that whatever they've done in life has earned them a timeshare with a brimstone lake view at the Lucifer Estate Condos.

While I applaud the honesty of that 1%, I can't help but feel there are a whole slew of others who have underestimated the likelihood of their attendance at that eternal weenie roast.

Like anyone who kills in the name of God. I can't believe the Supreme Being is going to be too happy with anyone who blows up a bus full of school kids in His (or Her) name. There will be a special seat at the big barbeque reserved for those who hold a holy book in one hand and a gun in the other.

Scam artists who prey on the elderly, hopeless or gullible are definitely headed south. The deep south, that is.

They'll probably be accompanied by parents who raise violent, useless kids and then wash their hands and dump them on society to look after, pay for and eventually be afraid of when we hear a noise at 3 am. Humanity should be taught to contribute more with every generation, not take away from it or expect a free ride.

Polluters, child abusers, people who are cruel to animals, and the person who invented voicemail are all on their way to pitchfork central.

The leaders of jerkwater third world dumps (or first or second world nations for that matter) who live in luxury while their people starve, have no clean water, adequate healthcare or decent housing had better pack an extra pair of asbestos undies.

There has to be a special place in hell for people who park in handicapped spaces. It's right next to those people who somehow get a handicapped parking sticker, but leap out of the car at the beer store and carry back three cases without so much as a limp.

The presidents of greedy corporations that lay off thousands in the name of competitiveness and then cash in big 'performance' bonuses are going to have a lot to answer for at the Pearly Gates. I'm not sure Saint Peter is going to be too impressed with that kind of balance sheet.

While we're at it, let's also throw into the fiery pit those persistent telemarketers who won't take no for an answer, along with people who answer their cell phones during movies or blab surprise endings while you're waiting in line to get in.

Let's face it. The only people who aren't going to hell are you and me.

And I'm starting to have my doubts about you.

© Stephen Lautens 2001

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